SBS is very aware that many of our viewers rely on captions in order to enjoy our programming, and our most commonly received request regarding access services is for more captioning.
SBS always ensures that all programming hours subject to regulation are closed captioned as required.
The legislative requirements that exist under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 apply to all broadcasters, and they provide for all programming on any free-to-air network’s main channel, in our case SBS ONE, to be captioned between the hours of 6am and midnight. In addition, all news programming on a network’s main channel, no matter what time it airs, must also be captioned.
There is however, currently no legislated requirement for free-to-air networks to caption any programming on their secondary channels unless it already appeared with captions on their main channel. There is also no legislated requirement at all for captions on catch up services such as SBS’s On Demand.
SBS reserves sufficient monies to cover all regulated captioning, however we do not have available to us the additional funds it would take each year to provide captioning for every programme on all channels and On Demand.
SBS also looks for efficiencies and innovations that will allow us to caption as much additional programming as we’re able. In this way, SBS is on track to caption an additional 700 hours of programming this year.